Mark Chernoff’s final run as program director of WFAN may be coming to an end in the near future, but the longtime PD of New York’s dominant sports radio station is making sure that when he passes the baton, he’s turning over a well oiled machine with strong ratings success to whoever follows him.
The Winter Book results were released today in the big apple, and the headline that will generate the most attention throughout the industry was Craig Carton and Evan Roberts unseating The Michael Kay Show for the top spot in afternoon drive according to the Nielsen Audio ratings. ‘Carton & Roberts’ finished 3rd overall with Men 25-54 with a 5.3 share, holding off Kay’s program, which finished 4th with a 4.8. Those numbers take into account both the over the air, and streaming numbers (combined audience) for both brands. The winter book reflects the ratings generated by both stations between January 7th and March 31st.
The win was an important one for the WFAN afternoon duo. It was their first full book together and it reversed a trend that saw Kay enjoy previous success against Roberts and his former partner Joe Benigno. Carton and Roberts did team up for part of the Fall 2020 book, but because they started their show on November 9th, they weren’t responsible for most of the quarter’s performance.
One additional point worth sharing, Kay’s program, which previously started at 3pm ET, has since moved up an hour to 2pm ET. That means during the spring book, we’ll see the two shows battling for audience during similar time periods. The reason that’s important, 98.7 ESPN NY got crushed during the 2pm hour in this book. Carton & Roberts smoked Max Kellerman’s national show 9.0 to 2.1, leaving Kay with ground to make up. Regardless, Carton & Roberts did what they had to do, they put WFAN back in the win column in PM drive.
In middays, WFAN had to be satisfied with the performance turned in by Marc Malusis and Maggie Gray. The midday team placed 2nd overall with a 5.9 share from 10a-2p ET. During that same period, 98.7 ESPN NY received a 2.4, 16th place finish from Mike Greenberg, and a 2.9, 12th place showing from Bart Scott & Alan Hahn.
Closing things out in mornings, the WFAN powerhouse team of ‘Boomer & Gio’ led the market once again, finishing 1st overall with a 7.6. Their performance was the best of WFAN’s weekday programs for the quarter. The mixture of ESPN Radio’s ‘Keyshawn, J-Will & Zubin’, and 98.7 ESPN NY’s trio of Rick DiPietro, Chris Canty, and Dave Rothenberg came in 17th between 6a-10a with a 2.6 share.
For WFAN, this has to feel good, because it’s what the station expected when it brought Carton back. Craig’s ability to create interest, entertainment, and conversation is unquestioned. The buzz around WFAN’s afternoon show has been very different because there’s a daily question of what Carton might do next. Craig’s skill combined with Evan’s insight and ability to adjust to the #2 chair, and show another side of himself that hadn’t been heard as much previously, has allowed the show to perform well, and the station to generate new momentum. With the lineup strong and in a consistent place, New York’s sports radio king is positioned to enjoy future wins.
On the other hand, 98.7 ESPN NY is paying a price for shaking up its lineup. The Michael Kay Show is still a force and has nothing to feel bad about or apologize for. Moving up an hour earlier should help them in trying to reverse the latest results, and given the show’s dynamic, they’re good enough to bounce right back next book. The bigger question is the rest of the lineup. Kay’s show is drastically outperforming everything else on 98.7’s airwaves. It does take time for new shows to connect with an audience, but national programs have always faced an uphill climb in New York City. Making matters worse, Carton & Roberts started in November and six months later they’re riding high. If ESPN New York can get their national shows to finish in the Top 10, they’d probably feel good about it because there’s money to be made if you’re ranking that high in market #1. If they continue to hover around 16th-20th though, that might create more discussions inside their Bristol and NYC offices.
Arizona Sports 98.7 Delivers Top 10 Finish in Phoenix Winter Book
“The Phoenix sports radio leader closed the quarter in 8th place among Men 25-54 in weekday prime.”
The winter book results are in for Phoenix, and once again Bonneville’s Arizona Sports 98.7 FM delivered.
The Phoenix sports radio leader closed the quarter in 8th place among Men 25-54 in weekday prime (M-F 6a-7p). The other sports radio brands in the market, ESPN Phoenix 620, FOX Sports 910, 1580 The Fanatic, and KDUS Sports AM 1060 were further behind for the quarter.
Among 98.7’s local shows, Burns and Gambo produced the best performance for the quarter. The popular afternoon duo generated a 4.4 share, placing them 6th in their timeslot. Having worked together for a decade, Dave and John continue to thrive with no signs of slowing down.
Next best was Bickley and Marotta, the station’s midday show. Dan and Vince were just one tenth lower than afternoons with a 4.3 share. That earned them a 9th place finish in their daypart.
Finishing up in mornings, Doug & Wolf had a setback for the quarter. They turned in a 14th place finish with a 3.0 share. Doug Franz and Ron Wolfley have enjoyed fifteen strong years in mornings, becoming one of the most popular shows in Phoenix. Just two years ago they were 4th. I’d expect them to regain their footing and perform stronger in the spring, summer and fall books.
1010XL/92.5 FM Introduces ‘Alumni Week’
“Jacksonville’s 1010XL/92.5 FM is reflecting on 15 years of history by returning to its roots, producing a special ‘Alumni Week’.”
Jacksonville’s sports radio leader, 1010XL/92.5 FM is reflecting on 15 years of history by returning to its roots. Starting Monday May 10th, the station will produce a special ‘Alumni Week‘, showcasing popular hosts of the past, re-teaming hosts who previously worked together, and re-airing old audio, infamous moments, and classic characters who helped the brand become what it is today.
Frank Frangie, the station’s afternoon drive host, and Rick Ballou will reunite in afternoon drive for the entire week. The duo handled afternoons for more than seven years together beginning in 2009. They will be joined periodically throughout the week by Jessica Blaylock. The current Miami Marlins reporter was a mainstay on the show for most of Frangie and Ballou’s run as partners.
Mike Dempsey, host of Jaguars Today, will reconnect all week with his former cohost, former Jags’ linebacker Tom McManus. Guests on the show will include Jeff Lageman, David Garrard, John Oehser and Mike DiRocco.
Helmets and Heels, the station’s groundbreaking weekly show featuring all female hosts, will air every night during the week from 6-8 p.m. Current hosts Lauren Brooks and Donna Murphy, who have been on the show since its inception, will be joined by show regular Taylor Doll. Joining the trio will be former cast members Blaylock, Blythe Brumleve, Amanda Borges and others.
The station’s popular morning show, The Drill, will have interview segments with former co-hosts Jordan DeArmon, Mackenzie Thirkill, and Tony Boselli, along with a few surprises. Hays Carlyon, who is curently one third of the afternoon show, will spend the week on XL Prime Time with Joe Cowart, Matt Hayes and Leon Searcy. XLPT will welcome Chadd Scott, Terry Norvelle, Scott Manze and more. Last but not least, Frangie and Ballou will reconnect with Joe Block, Ryan O’Halloran, Borges, former program director Jason Dixon, and others.
It’ll be a fun week revisiting some of the best times in Jacksonville sports radio history with the market’s undisputed sports talk leader, 1010XL/92.5 FM.
Radio Only Gets 2.2% Of Sports Gambling Ad Money
“Whether or not the percentage of advertising dollars will increase for radio, the amount certainly will over time.”
Sportico recently revealed that FanDuel outspends all of its competitors when it comes to sportsbooks advertising on local television. Nielsen ad-spend data shows that the company made up for 38% of the industry’s TV advertising dollars in the first quarter of 2021.
The study also showed where and how the sports betting industry is spending its ad dollars. More than 78 percent of the industry’s money went to spot advertising at local stations. Another 3.7 percent went to national TV buys, bringing the total sportsbooks spend on TV advertising to well over $160 million in Q1.
Radio is cashing in. It just isn’t cashing in the way TV or digital is.
According to Nielsen, just 2.2% of gambling ad money is spent in radio. That trails even traditional outdoor advertising. Nielsen estimates that radio took in $4.3 million during the first quarter.
Whether or not the percentage of advertising dollars will increase for radio, the amount certainly will over time. Sports radio in particular has inventory, live reads, and segment sponsorships that will be very attractive to advertisers as sports gambling legalization spreads across more states.
Forget getting more money than TV. Sportico suggests that radio should be optimistic for TV and excited to ride its coattails. Anthony Crupi suggests that by 2024, local spot television advertising could generate $590 million from sportsbooks. That is on top of the more than 1300 percent growth the category has seen in the last two years. That growth in TV likely means similar growth for other platforms as well.